After the flurry of moves yesterday, the Astros finally announced which players were added to the 40-man roster. The 40-man roster stands at 37 with the addition of Asher Wojciechowski, Domingo Santana, and Luis Cruz.
Wojciechowski was acquired by the Astros over a season ago in the Brandon Lyon trade to the Blue Jays. Wojciechowski started the season at Double-A Corpus Christi where he had a 2.08 ERA in 26 IP. After getting promoted to Triple-A OKC, he spent the rest of the season there and had a 3.56 ERA and 1.19 WHIP in 126 IP. The 24-year old will likely battle for a shot at a rotation spot this season.
Santana had an encouraging season for a 20-year at Double-A. In 416 at-bats, Santana batted .256 with 25 HR’s, 25 2B’s, 64 RBI’s, and a .842 OPS. Santana was originally acquired as a PTBNL in the Hunter Pence deal that sent fellow prospects/players Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton, and Josh Zeid to Houston. Santana will spend at least another year in the minors either at Corpus Christi or Oklahoma City.
Cruz continues to impress as he climbs the latter in the Astros system. Cruz was named the best left-handed pitcher in the Astros organization this past season by Jake Seiner of MiLB.com. In 136 IP this season between Lancaster and Corpus Christi, Cruz had a 4.56 ERA and 1.23 WHIP to go along with a 150/44 – K/BB ratio. The high ERA numbers are expected as he spent most of the season (113.1 IP) at Lancaster, which is known to inflate a pitcher’s ERA. Cruz will likely start the season at Corpus Christi.
The Astros elected to keep their 40-man roster at 37 with the offseason in full swing. Carlos Perez and Jake Buchanan are mild surprises that were left off the 40-man roster. Both players are now eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft later in the offseason. With the roster at 37, the Astros have three open spots to sign free agents, select players in the Rule 5 draft, or open roster spots for trade purposes.